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Water, Testing & Apps?

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by Lisbeth Oden, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. Lisbeth Oden

    Lisbeth Oden New Member

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    Hello all! Curious to know -

    For water changes - do you use tap water, distilled water, water from the water machines @ the market, or...? (Water straight out of my tap is not good)

    What water testing system do you use?

    Are there smart phone apps for testing that you use and like?

    Thanks


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  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    I used tap water but put it into a holding tank for a week before using it. I aerated it, dechlorinated it and filtered it through carbon before adding mineral salts or peat moss to make it suitable for the fish it was going to be used on.
     
  3. Lisbeth Oden

    Lisbeth Oden New Member

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    Cool a but a bit hard to do when I’m doing all these water changes to get my tank healthy again I’ve been using water from the store and Tetra Safe “Aqua Safe” added to it. What else can I do to help the water be better?

    What do you think the best average pH, KH and GH are for a tank of what I hope will be mostly live bearers, Cory’s and a Pleco?


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  4. essjay

    essjay Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator

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    There is no 'best average' for cories and livebearers. Cories need soft water while livebearers need hard water.

    If you don't want to use your tap water you can use reverse osmosis water (either bought from an LFS or made with your own equipment) then add remineralising salts. The amount of these salts you add will be determined by whether you want soft water fish (not much of the salts) or hard water fish (more of the salts)
     
  5. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Livebearers need a pH above 7.0 and a GH above 200ppm for guppies, platies & swordtails. And a GH above 250ppm for mollies.

    Wild Corydoras and Plecos come from water with a pH below 7.0 and a GH below 100ppm. Common domestic Cories and plecos can tolerate a higher pH and a GH up to about 200ppm.
     
  6. seangee

    seangee Member

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    What is wrong with the water out of your tap. It really is much better, easier and cheaper if you can use that.
    I have never seen a useful phone app. There are a few but frankly it is easier to use your eyes to compare the colours against a chart, and those apps all only work with one product.

    Corys and plecos have one set of water requirements. Livebearers have different requirements. That is why I asked what is wrong with your tap water. The important figures are GH and KH. We need the numbers as well as what unit they are measured in. You should be able to get these from your water company's website. You can buy tests for these but since they usually don't change most people don't.

    A really good place to research fish is www.seriouslyfish.com. Just search for the fish you are interested in and read all about it.
     
  7. AbbeysDad

    AbbeysDad Member

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    I have nitrates (and some ammonia) in my rural well water, most likely due to the 95 acre farmers field across the road. I pre-filter water through a now discontinued API Tap Water Filter that is filled with API Nitra-Zorb, then goes through an inline carbon filter.
    [​IMG]
    I used to do this in the kitchen sink into 5g buckets as in the photo, but now I do it in the basement into a 45 gallon Rubbermade Brute trash can. I filter about 100 gallons weekly for the water changes in 6~ tanks.
    The Nitra-Zorb resin works great and is rechargeable with aquarium salt or non-iodized table salt (which I use).

    I agree that water out of your tap is best, even if you need to soften by mixing with RO or some distilled water. 90% of the time, water straight from the tap is perfectly fine as long as you condition for chlorine/chlorimine. There are excellent conditioners these days that instantly neutralize chlorine/chloramine.
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Agreeing with others, using your tap water is certainly preferable as it makes water changes (essential) much easier. Unless you have some serious issue (a few have been mentioned previously in this thread) a good conditioner is all you need to add to remove chlorine/chloramine if either is added.

    If you could post the data on your source (tap) water we might be able to offer suggestions.
     
  9. Lisbeth Oden

    Lisbeth Oden New Member

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    I will have to ask the city for that but what complicates it further is that I am not directly on the water line so it is delivered every month and sits in a cistern. I just tested the water that came through my filter and it’s perfect on all levels except that it has between .5 & 1 ppm nitrates in it (which I didn’t know until now so I will have to look into that further and get a more accurate test) I recently tested it for bacteria and it was clear but in theory that could change from month-to-month.




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  10. AbbeysDad

    AbbeysDad Member

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    Sounds like your water should be just fine so I wonder why you were concerned!
    I'm still uncertain if it's chlorinated or not but previous posts well cover conditioners for that.
     
  11. Lisbeth Oden

    Lisbeth Oden New Member

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    I was concerned because even though when I started this tank and cycled it and my test strips said perfect but yet every single fish I put in there died. I also run everything through a counter filter that is just not designed for the amount of water changing I’ve been doing because of various infections that have taken hold.


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  12. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    Test stripes, I’m just going to say it, are trash.

    Guarantee, they are cheaper, but in the long run, you will need to get the “API Master Test Kit” you can do over 800 tests for Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, ph, and High ph.

    (Here is a link..... https://www.walmart.com/ip/API-Fres...MI-_ywq6O34wIVlyCtBh1REwVQEAQYAiABEgJQdPD_BwE )

    I personally have one, and it has never failed me yet!

    As far as water conditioners go, I use Tetra Brand “Aqua Safe”.

    (Here is a link..... https://www.walmart.com/ip/Tetra-Aq...MI3Jb436K34wIVwxx9Ch3_fQZ-EAQYFSABEgKzjvD_BwE )

    Just put 1 ml for ever gallon of tap water you want to condition! (10 gallons = 10 ml, 25 gallons = 25 ml, so on, and so forth.)

    This stuff works great for me!

    I hope this helped, and good luck! :)
     
  13. seangee

    seangee Member

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    If I remember correctly your original posting showed a mix of hard and soft water fish and high Nitrite readings. Nitrite is deadly poisonous to fish and indicates that the tank was not properly cycled. You were also adding salt and trying to adjust the pH, all of which is NOT a good thing to do.

    Nitrate at 1ppm is absolutely fine for fish. (Note nitrate and nitrite are very different things). Also (again subject to my memory) you said the water had low alkalinity, which suggests soft water. If this is the case it would be best to keep soft water fish such as tetras or danios and corys. If you haven't already seen it it is worth reviewing the information on cycling at http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/421488-cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first

    Water that tests perfect before you add fish very quickly becomes poisonous once you add fish if your filter is not properly cycled.
     
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  14. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    The OP might have ammonia and nitrite in their water supply. If this is the case, they need to remove it before using it in their tanks otherwise the fish could die from the water during water changes.
     
  15. Lisbeth Oden

    Lisbeth Oden New Member

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    Thank you. The soft and low alkalinity water was coming from the reverse osmosis dispenser at the grocery store because I thought my cistern had gone bad and my counter top filter needed to be replaced. My home water when filtered is nearly perfect but it has 1 ppm nitrates. So I have been trying to figure out which way is the best water to use.

    And for what it’s worth I did fully cycle the tank. This is not my first tank. I have restarted this tank probably 6 different times after moves or periods of time that I haven’t had fish. Up until this time I have always been extremely successful with fishtanks.

    My tetra safe strips says that 1 ppm of nitrates is stressful.

    I’ve been told on several occasions that adding salt when there is infection is helpful so now I’m really confused.

    Thanks


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